My Car Quest

February 23, 2024

Why Are The French Afraid of E-Bikes?

by Mike Gulett –

A 45 second video advertisement for the Dutch e-bike company VanMoof, titled “Time to Ride the Future,” was blocked from being shown in France. Why you ask? Well because it apparently is “creating a climate of anxiety”. Maybe in France but I do not see how it would anywhere else, actually I do not see how it could create anxiety in France either.

VanMoof e-bikes

The French have their own sensibilities like their worship of the American comedian Jerry Lewis who is loved in France much more than he is in his home country (I am a fan of Jerry Lewis).

The French advertising code, administered by Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP), prohibits the exploitation of fear and suffering in advertisement.

“Some images present in the reflections of the car appear, in our opinion, disproportionate and bring discredit on the whole sector of the automobile sector,” wrote ARPP in a letter to VanMoof.

VanMoof e-bikes

This video aired on TV in Germany and The Netherlands without any incidents of anxiety as far as we know. This seems very odd to me so I had to see it myself. You should too and let us know if you think it is too intense for you. I suspect the publicity of being pulled from airing in France will ensure many more people will see this VanMoof advertisement.

Clearly this is a video that must be seen by us all.


VanMoof E-Bike Video


Here in the US the advertising watchdogs do not concern themselves with “creating a climate of anxiety” or the “exploitation of fear and suffering”. I am not sure what they do as we are subjected to wild exaggerations and sometimes downright lies in the advertising we see.

What is better an over protective culture or one that does not seem to care about much except money?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.


Why Are The French Afraid of E-Bikes?
Article Name
Why Are The French Afraid of E-Bikes?
This video advertisement for VanMoof e-bikes aired on TV in Germany and The Netherlands without any incidents of anxiety as far as we know. Why was it not allowed to be shown in France?


  1. I can only think that the automobile lobby in France pressured authorities to pull the ad. Already in a precarious financial position with sales dropping like a stone and future prospects dim, an uptake in an alternate mode of transportation would not help. Also, ‘pedal power’ is one thing, but a motorized bicycle operating at a consistently higher speed in already congested byways is a recipe for higher ‘encounters’ with cars. I would think that insurance companies would also have some concern.

  2. Wallace Wyss says

    The bike is ugly and spartan. I thought the French were known for style. If they had an equal time law. i’d like to request a government grant to film a commercial to show them how glorious cars can be, say driving a Ferrari California on a Sunday morning in the Cote d’azur.

  3. I like it as well, however, I hope they have a speed-limiter, as I just returned from a trip from the supermarket. The street is a four lane 40 km/hr zone. Everyone was rolling at 20, when this electric bike flew past us at 40 km/h between cars! Of course, these have no license requirements, and from what I could see, minimal braking capacity. If you are going to use public roads, at max speed, in traffic, why not get a scooter. At least you can see them coming.

  4. Jonah Christensen says

    Wow! People are making a huge fuzz about this? Seriously? It’s just an ad. Nothing more, nothing less.

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